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If you’re in the market for a new TV service provider, you may feel torn between a streaming service and traditional cable or satellite offerings. DIRECTV STREAM offers you the best of both worlds with live TV options, along with on-demand titles and streaming apps. While DIRECTV STREAM’s plans are on the expensive side, paying more may be worth it if you enjoy watching movies, sports, and binge-worthy shows.

If you’re unsure if DIRECTV STREAM will fit your needs, this review compiles all the facts you’ll need to help you decide.


DIRECTV STREAM services offer four packages that combine local channels, live TV, and streaming services, as well as access to more than 7,000 apps.

The Essentials package is a good fit for many households and offers 65+ channels which include family favorites such as Disney, Nickelodeon, and ESPN. At a starting cost of $69.99/month, you’ll also have access to 40,000 on-demand titles plus three free months of SHOWTIME®, STARZ®, EPIX®, and Cinemax.

If you’re looking for more regional sports networks, the Choice package offers all the bells and whistles of the Essentials package, plus more local sports channels. In total, the Choice package gives you more than 90 local and live TV channels and an additional 5,000 on-demand titles starting at $84.99/month.

For movie fans, the Ultimate package builds on the Essentials package by adding more channels such as Hallmark TV and Paramount TV for a total of more than 125 channels altogether, along with 55,000 on-demand movies and shows. The Essentials package starts at $94.99/month.

And of course, for those who say more is more, the Premier package is a great fit. Not only does this option offer 140+ live and local channels, regional sports channels, and 65,000 on-demand titles, but it also includes HBO Max™, Cinemax®, SHOWTIME®, and STARZ®, plus three free months of EPIX®. Pricing for this top-tier package starts at $139.99/month.

All DIRECTV streaming services include cloud digital video recording (DVR) services so you can record and keep up to 20 hours of TV or ten episodes of a series. However, you can also upgrade to unlimited DVR storage for an extra $10/month.*

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Key considerations

DIRECTV STREAM offers full transparency as to which channels are available with each package as well as which channels can be added on for an additional cost. For DIRECTV STREAM, it is recommended that you have high-speed internet with a minimum speed of 8 Mbps.

In terms of additional fees, a DIRECTV streaming device is provided with your service at no additional cost. However, there is a $120 non-return fee if you fail to return the device within 14 days after the end of your service.

Also, there is a regional sports fee of up to $8.49/month for all packages that include regional sports networks. You’ll need to pay a one-time $19.95 activation fee as well.

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What others say about DIRECTV STREAM

While recent reviews by CNET, U.S. News & World Report, and PC Mag made mention of the higher cost of DIRECTV STREAM service compared to the competition, each review also mentioned the positives associated with the higher costs.

U.S. News & World Report said that DIRECTV STREAM is a solid option for large households that stream on several devices at once and those looking for Spanish and other international channels. The review also commended the service for its wide selection of sports and premium channels. 

PC Mag lauded the service for delivering reliable service while CNET said DIRECTV STREAM should be the “go-to choice for cable-cutting fans of basketball and hockey.”

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How does DIRECTV STREAM compare to other providers?

DIRECTV STREAM competitors include YouTube TV, Sling TV, Philo, Fubo TV, and Hulu with Live TV. Although Sling TV offers more flexibility in choosing channels, Fubo TV comes with 500 hours of DVR storage (compared to only 20 hours for DIRECTV STREAM). DIRECTV STREAM may be pricier than some competitors but offers a lot for your money.

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*Pricing varies by location and availability. Speeds may vary. All prices subject to change; for current pricing and availability visit our TV service page. Prices as of 1/12/22.

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Disclosure | Updater articles are based on our own data and research, independent from partner relationships. We are not compensated by partners for information and opinions presented here. Our Editorial Terms of Service can be found here.

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